Playground Uprising

July 18, 2011, 11:31 pm
Filed under: boyd, brothers, fighting, Life, parenthood, parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Velcro ~ it holds the dust ruffle onto our four poster bed, and sticks the nametags to the desks in my fifth grade classroom, and the bodies of one four year old to another eight year old as they watch television, sit in the pew at church, or pass each other in the hall. The force is strong and immediate, as if when in each other’s company there is simply no other course of action but to throw one’s body wildly onto the other while peering over the shoulder ready to throw up hands in utter exasperation and proclaim “_____ stepped, slapped, scratched me” ~ accompanied by a look of outraged suffered from this complete and unsolicited indignity. And so I send them both to their separate rooms ~ a consequence whose effectiveness resides within the margin of error ~ but accomplishes an air of peace and allows me to reconsider the benefits of getting my own apartment down the street (which I am still thinking is an excellent idea!).


Sword Fighting

There are those among us who proclaim the perils of the sedative existence of a T.V. watching kiddo. These people are of course the folks who reside outside of the house of a boy who each day rolls up a legal size piece of paper and pops in Narnia in preparation for an all out epic battle of wills – likely concluding in an older boy grabbing his head and shrieking “Mom, Charlie is a sword fighting again.” And as I peak around the corner ~ the battle commences with jabs, and jolts, and leaps that could only make our one hundred and fifteen year old house feel like it just might not make it to the next century. Thus one not worry that these altercations are reserved for the T.V., I assure you that they rage at nap time as Charlie leaps upon his bed and peers into the mirrored wardrobe impressed by his dexterity, and in the grocery store as I ponder the advantages of fettuccine over rigatoni, and as one waits for our free Subaru oil change in the company of those who really just want to know the latest on the Casey Anthony trial.There are even little twinges of it as Charlie walks back down the aisle after attending children’s chapel, and though there are parts of me that are reluctant to claim the weapon wheeling bandit stalking the sanctuary ~ the one who corrected me yesterday when I said “Charlie, don’t you think it is a beautiful day?” To which he responded, “Mom that is something only princesses say ” ~but truth be known, I sure do love the gusto of boy who is willing to take on his world.

Sunday …
July 25, 2010, 11:49 pm
Filed under: church, Life, prayer | Tags: , , ,

Today is Sunday ~ Our new associate rector has just arrived. If I was to thin slice our hour together, I would say we got ourselves a home run. She was casual, thoughtful, and had something to say ~ an unusual combination in today’s culture of altered “reality” TV shows and shock jocks. Her message today was the wait and the rub. She talked about this is the context of prayer and positioning. There are times when we position ourselves in authority and ask God to lead us to and through that promotion or book deal, assuming that which we know, see, and want are reflective of our purpose. Then there are times when we cease prayer, exit the relationship, and assume full responsibility for what is and might be. And then she talked about the wait ~ equated to chess playing ~ as we are staring across the table waiting for our opponent to make the next move, as if she forgot and needs a nudged reminder. And it is in that silence and wanting that we lose faith in our ability and His ability to see us through. But perhaps, it is in that very silence that God is saying ~ “hey – I got this but you are not ready for it yet and this silence and suffering and waiting and uncomfortable hum is necessary to take you to what you will later see as your proper place and home. So perhaps, the universal prayer is not one of asking or expecting but a request for a partner who will sit with us in the silence and help us wait for that calling who is coming around the distant corner, an unexpected arrival that would never have made Sunday’s prayer list.

“Balance” Bar
October 19, 2007, 3:19 pm
Filed under: assistant professors, Life, stress, work

Cry. Bang. Yell. Screech. Eat a banana and a “balance” bar.

Perspective. This is where I am trying to sit now, but dang for me if I don’t keep falling off into the trenches.

The first fall was around 4am – as the alarm clock went off and then again on my way to the downtown /24-hour McDonald’s drive through – where my premonition of danger overrided my Episcopalian affiliation – as I recited a few Hail Mary’s to ward off potential car jackers.

And then we were off (me and NPR) and making good time until the tractor trailer. . .

The ONE that  EACH MORNING performs its daily ritual of driving down 95 north erratically, looking for an environmentally conscious Pruis to herd off the road and into the side rail, calling forth  several emergency vehicles and a traffic backup worth approximately 45 minutes of talk radio.

With this cordial meeting behind … I was off again in search of the Dulles airport exit. That would be the LEFT exit. The one I have taken on more than one occasion but for whatever reason was desperately looking for off  to my right…. until … crap … there is WAS … and here I am about to visit Clara Barton Blvd.

But come 7:30am – I was back on route and pulling into the conference site for check in … just in time to learn that my presentation would be in the “other” building – down the highway and off to the left.  Hmmm … glad I went with the loafers. And so I am here … and you are somewhere and my room is empty.  Let me see if I brought another balance bar.

Welcome Writers
September 5, 2007, 3:46 pm
Filed under: Life, writing

door.jpgWelcome writers…

I am glad that you are here. I am glad that your presence has reminded me of the importance of daily practice. Of getting it down, now matter its level of simplicity, so that I and we are lurched into a world where we look – more closely –at our everyday.

In my looking I find myself craving the peculiar and unpredictable – hoping that just maybe Mac will say that one thing – inappropriate at its core – that I can trap in my memory and then share with you. And with the hoping – that delightful expecting – I have come to appreciate that which might make others frown (simply watch accusatory relatives) and get lost in the process of now.

By the way – did I mention …..hmmmmm … will save for tomorrow.

Until then …blessings.

The Nothing We Need
April 10, 2007, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Life, peace

How do we make it Ok and where do we find our solace in life’s lunacy? When I am at work I am present in the task and don’t worry about the extraneous but there is always a palpable absence and longing for a quieted peace. When I am at home and little hands dose off and there is a respite from the giggles and the diapers and the cries, leaving this peace within reach, I bypass the option to grab the computer where I check e-mail, send a present, or write, all which cause me to get bogged down in the unimportant for too long as I search for the unnecessary instead of settle for the nothingness that I think our souls and sanity need most. So where do we find this nothing that we need in order to give appropriately to the something? Any thoughts …

The Feminine Mistake??????
April 3, 2007, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Children, Family, getting old, Life, parenthood, parenting, work



I love Verizon Fios equipped with a DVR that allows me to tape various shows like Bob the Builder, Namaste Yoga, and the Today Show. So now, here I am at 11:09am rewinding, forwarding and pausing Ann Curry’s interview with Vanity Fair writer Leslie Bennetts about her controversial book the Feminine Mistake, which details Bennetts argument that “girls grow up with the fairy tale that Prince Charming is going to take care of them …. and women do not think of it as high risk behavior to give up their careers, give up their financial self-sufficiency and depend on men to support them and their children and if you add up all the risk factors it is extremely high risk behavior unless you are prepared to support yourself at a moment’s notice.” She then shares the statistic that 40% of mothers who elect to take which she coins as the “off-ramp” never return to full time employment and those that attempt to make the merge encounter significant job discrimination from employers who are more apt to hire people that have continuous tenure in the field. Bennetts goes on to explain that women with multiple children have an average of 15 years in which they are actively engaged in childcare and another 60 years in which they may be forced to assume the role of sole financial supporter for their family due to the risk factors of divorce or the illness or job loss of a spouse. She contends that to make the conscious decision not to plan for this probability is in fact reckless behavior, a revelation most women do not come to until their forties and in significant financial disrepair. At this point Curry interjects that she believes many women do not think that they are making a “high stake choice” for their future but a “safe choice” for their family, for they do not feel comfortable putting their children in the care of outsiders, to which Bennetts responds that the media has distorted the realities of childcare and in fact when you review the statistics 80% of parents were satisfied with their children’s pre-school /daycare experience. So it appears that Bennetts has reopened the argument started by Betty Friedmann’s classic 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, and whether you agree or disagree with their claims, I think empowerment, specifically as it relates to women and families, grows out of honest dialogue that challenges us to look inward at home grown assumptions and be willing to think different and large out of respect for our own families, while at the same time honoring the diverse beliefs that exist and function successfully in the lives of many. So instead of fighting amongst ourselves let us lean on each other for support in the challenge we all experience: motherhood.